Thoughts on the “Preacher” Pilot

So far I’m enjoying the changes, and the original writing (Cassidy and the cow, Tulip and the kids) is making for compelling character moments.

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Two things:

  • My laptop is fixed. YAY!
  • Everything at work is broken. BOO.

However, this means I have some time to throw out a few thoughts on the Preacher pilot. I has been two weeks since I saw it and I didn’t make any notes, so I’m just going to do a light skim and mostly focus on casting. Here we go!

The Casting

So far, the casting is spot on.

  • Dominic Cooper is giving great smolder as Jesse. Also, his hair is a wonder to behold. I feel like he’s getting almost too much direction on what to do, and when he settles into the role more he’s going to be phenomenal. His weary take on his Annville congregation is perfect, and his scenes with Eugene Root are perfectly nuanced. Really looking forward to seeing more of Jesse and where his story goes.
  • Ruth Negga as Tulip is inspired and awesome. I am not in love with her character’s actions though, because they seem to be writing her more as a thrill seeker.  Tulip of the books was more low-key about their capers – she had fun, but she wasn’t a killer unless it was in self-defense. It’s not that I don’t believe Tulip is capable of taking out a helicopter with a coffee-can built bazooka, it’s that they have taken the character and dialed her up to 11. I am hoping they don’t do the thing where she enters as this incredible, uber-competent badass and then hands over the reins to Jesse, as we have seen done with uber-competent women in entertainment before. I’m curious to see what her character arc will be in the show vs. the Tulip of the books, and how she came to the attention of a paramilitary group that has access to helicopters. Love her, looking forward to more.
  • Cassidy. My god, they have completely and perfectly nailed Cassidy. When I first saw the photos of Joseph Gilgun I wasn’t completely sold, but his performance is great. I am hugely looking forward to seeing where he goes, and how much of his original backstory they’ll be keeping.
  • Everyone Else.  Great casting otherwise. Eugene is perfect, Earl Brown as Sheriff Root is great, and Lucy Griffiths is great. She is  there to establish that Jesse has settled down into a boring life that isn’t really him, and it’s grand. I love her terrible overbearing attitude toward Jesse, like he’s this sad sack who can’t operate without her cutting the crusts off his sandwiches. Bless. She’s SO in for a rude awakening.

The Story

A pilot is a terrible way to judge a show on story, so I’m just going to say that I’m interested to see how the changes are going to play out. So far I’m enjoying the changes, and the original writing (Cassidy and the cow, Tulip and the kids) is making for compelling character moments.

Final Thoughts

I can’t help but view the show through a tight lens because I am so in love with the source material. Ask anyone who knows me in real life and they can tell you I love Preacher, and I’ve talked at length with friends over beers and dinner tables about it. I didn’t read the original run. A friend tried to get me into it in the late 90s and I was hesitant because the only issue I’d seen had a huge Confederate flag on the cover, and I was afraid it was just a bunch of racist rednecks being bastards to each other. Since I lived that every day as a person in the American South, I didn’t want my escapism full of it, too. But I was so, so wrong. Preacher the book is a brilliant deconstruction of the deep cracks running through our country’s foundation, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, dirty politics, and oligarchies, all while managing to include hilarious characters, situations, and good old-fashioned violence.

If the showrunners do this right, then Preacher will be the show I’ve been waiting for – something that’s equal parts good drama, compelling characters, irreverent humor, and thrilling action. Hell, the western genre itself is in need of a severe shot in the arm, and I think Preacher and the upcoming Dark Tower will provide it. I keep hearing I need to watch Justified, and believe me, it’s on my list.

For all that I worship at the altar of Game of Thrones and always will,  it is still a grimdark world that I wouldn’t want to visit. I’m wondering if the world of Preacher will be similar, and hoping not. Preacher has some high expectations to live up to, but the pilot so far is checking all the boxes for me, and I am really looking forward to seeing more.

Author: jennnanigans

Orlando-area writerly person.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the “Preacher” Pilot”

  1. I’m in agreement. I enjoyed the changes they made to the story in order to make it televisionable. I haven’t had time to watch episode 2 yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

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